Press Releases

    21 March 2005

    Assistance to Third States Affected by Sanctions among Issues Addressed, as Charter Committee Concludes 2005 Session

    NEW YORK, 18 March (UN Headquarters) -- Concluding its 2005 session this morning, the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization adopted, as orally amended, its report, as well as several recommendations, including a text on its priority issue, namely assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions.

    Adopting a draft recommendation based on a proposal by Bulgaria, the Russian Federation and Ukraine (document A/AC.182/L.120), the Committee recommended that the General Assembly further address the question of the implementation of the provisions of the Charter relating to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions. The Committee also recommended that the Assembly, at its sixtieth session, continue to consider the results of an ad hoc expert group meeting on assistance to those States, taking into account the view expressed during the Committee’s 2005 debate. 

    The Committee’s seven-chapter report, which was introduced by Committee Rapporteur Tamara Rastovac (Serbia and Montenegro) and contained in documents A/AC.182/2005/CRP.1 to CRP.12/Add.1, reflected its consideration of such issues as the maintenance of international peace and security, the peaceful settlement of disputes, proposals concerning the Trusteeship Council, the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council and the Special Committee’s working methods.  The section of the report entitled, “Maintenance of international peace and security” contained views on several proposals, including a working paper submitted by the Russian Federation on the basic conditions and standard criteria for the introduction and application of sanctions and other coercive measures. 

    Also included in that section was a working paper on strengthening the role of the Organization and enhancing its effectiveness, submitted by Cuba at the Committee’s 1997 session, as well as a revised Libyan proposal on strengthening the United Nations role in the maintenance of international peace and security.  The Committee’s consideration of a proposal, contained in a revised working paper submitted by Belarus and the Russian Federation, to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the resort to the use of force by States without prior authorization by the Security Council, except in the exercise of the right to self-defence, was also included. 

    Based on a proposal by Cuba (document A/AC.182/L.121), the Committee adopted a recommendation, as orally amended, by which it recognized the value of considering measures within the United Nations to revitalize the General Assembly in order to effectively and efficiently exercise the functions assigned to it under the Charter. 

    Under the item “Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council”, the Committee adopted a recommendation, as orally revised, by which it recommended that the Assembly encourage voluntary contributions to two Trust Funds, namely the Trust Fund for updating the Repertoire and the Fund for eliminating the backlog on the Repertory. The Assembly would also encourage the sponsoring -- on a voluntary basis and with no cost to the United Nations -- of associate experts to assist in the preparation of studies of both the Repertoire and the Repertory. 

    By further terms of the recommendation, which was tabled by the representative of Costa Rica, the Assembly would encourage the Secretary-General to enhance cooperation with academic institutions and the internship programme for the preparation of studies of both the Repertory and the Repertoire.

    In other action this morning, the Committee adopted a draft decision by Trinidad and Tobago by which it indicated its readiness to engage in the implementation of any decisions that may be taken at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the Assembly’s sixtieth session in September 2005 that concern the United Nations Charter and any amendments to it.

    At the outset of the meeting, the representative of Bulgaria informed the Committee that the co-sponsors of the proposal for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice had submitted a revised version of the working document. The reason for the request for an advisory opinion had been set out previously. The revised paper took into account the various comments of delegations made during the current session. He requested that the revised version be included in the Committee’s report for consideration at its next session.

    Regarding Japan’s proposal on the Committee’s working methods, that country’s representative noted that in, an effort to reach consensus on the matter, his delegation had further revised its working paper. The working paper had been redrafted extensively over the past five years. He hoped the adjustments would be seen as a sincere effort to accommodate the various opinions offered. While the working paper was not perfect, steps needed to be taken in order to improve the Committee’s working methods. He asked delegations for their cooperation in adopting the further revised working paper by consensus at the Committee’s next session.

    Following the adoption of the Committee’s report, the representative of Venezuela said she regretted that very little had been achieved during the session. It was important to adopt uniform criteria on the implementation of sanctions, which should only be used in extreme cases, and could not be used to overthrow legitimately constituted governments. Regarding the Committee’s working methods, she rejected efforts to include subjective aspects that would violate the right of States to formulate proposals. 

    Nigeria’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that despite the fact that the Committee had, once again, not been able to adopt many of the proposals, there was no doubt that some progress had been made. The African Group saw much merit in the Russian proposal on the declaration of basic conditions and standard criteria for the introduction of sanctions, and found it a good basis for further dialogue on issues that were crucial to the Group. Twelve of the 16 sanctions regimes in the last 15 years been imposed on African countries and political will was needed to sort out differences on the issue. The Group appreciated the widespread endorsement of its call for the conduct of comprehensive studies on the matter, including the compilation on the unintended impacts of sanctions. Conducting studies and workshops in African countries would lead to greater cooperation and would help in the formulation of a more result-oriented instrument for the implementation of sanctions.

    Chile’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, said the adoption of recommendations made by the Group showed that its work had not been in vain. She hoped the Committee’s next session would be even more successful. 

    Also, taking the floor to make comments and oral revisions to the texts adopted today were the representatives of the Russian Federation, Guatemala, China, Libya, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Italy, Republic of Korea, Cuba, United States, and Trinidad and Tobago.

    The Special Committee was established in 1974 to examine proposals to strengthen the Organization’s role in maintaining peace and security, develop cooperation among nations and promote the rules of international law.

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